World awaits verdict in Bradley Manning's trial

Xeni Jardin reports from Ft. Meade, Md., on the trial of the accused Wikileaks whistleblower

Kill City Blues: Sandman Slim versus the elder gods of the dead mall

Kill City Blues is the latest in Richard Kadrey's amazing hard-boiled supernatural thriller series Sandman Slim. I've been a Kadrey fan since his landmark debut novel Metrophage, and have read and enjoyed all his work since, but Sandman Slim are the novels Kadrey was born to write.

Sandman Slim is a "Sub Rosa," part of the hidden world of magical people and beings who live beneath our noses. A precocious and gifted magician, he inspired jealousy in his coven, who conspired to send him to Hell while he was still alive. He was a novelty in the Underworld, and was sent to fight in a gladitorial pit, and eventually trained to be an assassin. After a daring escape from Hell, he returned to Los Angeles to reap a horrific revenge on the former friends who'd doomed him.

That was several books ago. Now, in book five, Sandman Slim has been around the block a few times, experienced several dramatic turns in his life, fought off zombies and vampires and creatures from beyond the universe, discovered the true identity of God and Lucifer, and stumbled upon the universe's impending unwinding.

Kill City Blues is the story of that impending universal destruction, and it revolves around the hunt for an artifact that may be our plane's only defense against the elder gods who are seeking to break in and reclaim the reality that was stolen from them. And of course, Sandman Slim isn't the only one hunting for it. His quest leads him -- and his competitors -- to Kill City, a dead Santa Monica megamall where the roof caved in and killed hundreds. Read the rest

75 years of Superman: How the boy in blue continues to leave his mark on pop culture

His constant presence in pop culture is so pervasive that it's easy to forget he reached a milestone anniversary this year. One look around San Diego Comic-Con this month, and you'd have spotted the star of the show, continuing to fight for truth, justice and the American way even after 75 years. Superman is here to stay. Read the rest